As Coin World’s July issue illustrates, animals are a popular theme for ancient coins. Two distinct options were offered by two recent Nomos Ag stellar lots at the 22nd Zurich auction of Nomos Ag.
In the second century B.C., a Celtic gold stater was issued by the Parisii tribe of northeast Gaul. It is 7.21 grams in weight, slightly less than one-quarter ounce, and 20.5 millimeters wide. It is slightly smaller (but more heavy) than a Jefferson 5-cent coins.
According to the firm, the Parisii’s gold staters are among the most elegantly Celtic of all Celtic coins in Europe.
The reverse depicts a Celticized head with long, wavy hair of Apollo. His head is surrounded by curving ornaments, which are vaguely similar to the dolphins seen on the coins from Syracuse.
The reverse depicts a Celtic horse with prominent mane and a large head. Above, a large sail with a checkerboard design and each square filled with a small pellet is shown.
Both sides were derived from the Philip II gold staters, but the Celtic artists who created these coins created a new type.
The auction house described the coin as “An impressive example. Well-centered and quite bold.” It was graded “Good Very Fine” and sold for 33,880 Swiss Francs (USD 36,890 U.S.). This includes the 21% buyer’s fee and an estimated 35,000 Swiss Francs.
A 420 to 413 B.C. The silver tetradrachmm of Messana, Sicily, was sold at auction for 26,620 Swiss Francs ($28.921 U.S.), which included the buyer’s fees. This is against an estimate of 8,500 Swiss Francs.
Standard types of Messana’s coinage show a biga (or mule) in honor of Anaxilas’ Olympic victory in the mule car races.
The firm stated that a rabbit and a fly appear on the reverse. This “once more testifies to the care with which Greek artists observed nature around them,”
The coin is 16.99g in weight and 28mm in diameter.
The silver coin was graded Extremely Good, with the exception of die rust on the reverse and a small die break.